Sunday, June 14, 2015

Should We Upgrade Our Medishield?

Some of my customers are wondering, should they upgrade their basic Medishield that they are currently having? What are the benefits of upgrading their Medishield to Private Integrated Shield Plans?

1) Government Hospitals vs Private Hospitals

Medishield is designed to cover for large hospitalisation bills in Class B2 and C wards in government hospitals.

While government hospitals do provide professional health care, sometimes you have to be prepared to wait for a long period of time for treatments. I have heard stories where you have to risk waiting several months just for a surgery, and many prefer to be transferred to a private hospital for a faster treatment.

If you prefer to have the choice of seeking treatment from private hospitals and not have to worry about incurring a huge amount out of pocket, then choosing a private integrated shield plan that covers for private hospitals can provide greater peace of mind.

Wouldn't you prefer to have a faster and earlier treatment?

2) Limited coverage vs Full coverage

Medishield Life has claim limits for different portions of the bill e.g daily ward charges and surgical procedures.

Integrated shield plans typically come with As-Charged coverage instead of limits, you can submit the actual bill amount for claim without worrying about the individual sub limits, and this helps to protect against medical inflation.

3) Option to cover the co-insurance and deductible portion of the bill also known as Excess

Under both Medishield Life and Integrated Shield plans, we are expected to pay for a portion of the bills known as co-insurance and deductible.

However, private insurers providing Integrated Shield plans offer the option of purchasing cash riders (cash top ups on top of the basic plans) which cover for the deductible and co-insurance or at least reduce the amount of out of pocket expenses.

So if you prefer to have the peace of mind knowing your medical bill can be fully covered and not paying a single cent of the bill, then such riders to Integrated Shield plans would come in handy.

4) Coverage for pre and post hospitalisation related follow up charges

Medishield Life covers mainly for inpatient and selected outpatient treatment like chemotherapy and dialysis. However it does not cover for specialist scans or consultation prior to hospitalisation nor post hospitalisation follow up treatment.

Integrated Shield plans include these benefits, typically for bills incurred within 90 days before and after hospotalisation, some even longer.

If you value the freedom of choice to seek treatment in private hospitals and not have to worry about rising medical bills due to inflation, or if you want to be covered for pre and post hospitalisation related expenses and prefer not to co-pay part of the bill, then integrated shield plans would still be something worth looking at for a greater peace of mind.

With the enhancements in Medishield Life, there would inevitably be an increase in premiums.

Ultimately, here are 2 questions to consider in determining whether to upgrade or not

1. Do you value the enhanced coverage and peace of mind enough to pay more for them?

2. Are the premiums affordable and can it be manageable for you?

Do contact me at +65 9151 9924 for a non-obligatory discussion.

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